Team Canada placed second at the IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championship in Thailand in August. (File contributed/Tom Arnold)

Local athletes help Team Canada place second at world dragon boat championships

Victoria-based Tom Arnold took on the role as head coach for one of the teams for the first time

Canada’s national dragon boat team has walked away with 85 medals, placing second overall at the International Dragon Boat Federation Racing Championships which took place in Pattaya, Thailand at the end of August.

Of note was the Senior B team (age 50 plus), which took home 15 medals from 15 events, something that head coach Tom Arnold is extremely proud of.

“It was a thrilling experience,” Arnold said. “I think anytime you represent your country it’s a thrill, but for me this was my first time coaching a Canadian national team… that was a challenge and very exciting.”

ALSO READ: Vancouver Island athletes named to Dragon Boat Canada Senior B National Team

A majority of the Senior B team’s athletes originate from Vancouver Island, with 22 coming from VI Paddling, and others coming from the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club and Latitude 48 Paddling.

Other athletes from the team came from across the country, something Arnold thought was both a strength and a challenge.

“A huge part of it is that Canada just has tremendous talent in dragon boats,” he said. “But with athletes from across the country we don’t get to practise together often, so there’s a lot of trust in the training… We got to Thailand and had four practice days together and hoped it would work, and luckily it did.”

PHOTOS: The 25th Victoria Dragon Boat Festival kicks off with eye-dotting ceremony

Arnold adds that the sport is something designed for athletes of all calibres – from lifelong competitors to complete novices. The youngest competitor on the national team this year was 12, while the oldest was 71.

“The amazing thing about this sport is you’re never too old or too young to compete at a high-performance sport,” Arnold said, adding that he’s already looking forward to the next competition. “The next world championship in two years. We’re hopeful we’ll be able to lead the team again.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Boating

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

VI Paddling coaching team Trish Crumpton (left), Mallorie Nicholson, Andree St Denis, Tom Arnold, Andrea Keenan, and Verlie Martin at the IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championship in Pattaya Thailand in August. (File contributed/ Tom Arnold)

Just Posted

Saanich launches new tool to help residents learn about the budget

Tool launch will coincide with the Mar. 3 budget meeting

Coast Capital Savings in Saanich to re-open after COVID-19 scare

The branch closed ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Petition aims to stop handyDART facility from being built in View Royal

‘Save Craigflower Creek’ has gathered over 1,000 signatures within a week

Nominations for Victoria municipal byelection are in

Victoria will elect one councillor

Oak Bay’s first heritage conservation area is in the books

Councillor excited to see how HCA protects character of The Prospect

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Most Read